NANTICOKE LEGEND OF THE DOGWOOD TREE
A Nanticoke legend of the Maryland Eastern Shore Tribe accounts for the stunted growth and crooked limbs as such:
“Long ago a chief had four beautiful daughters whose charms he schemed to barter for rich gifts. Suitors far and wide never satisfied the greedy chief.
Finally the Gods, exasperated at his meanness, turned him into a small low tree, with snarled bent branches, and then his daughters into the four white bracts surrounding the tiny cluster of flowers as the gigts the suitors brought.
Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sunday, April 18, 1943 AKA&EM